Tag Archives: improve page speed

Set Up a CDN Using Amazon CloudFront

Sometimes using a caching plugin alone isn’t enought to get your WordPress page speed to a reasonable level. Fortunately Amazon CloudFront can be used as an easy and affordable way to improve load times considerably.

In this video, I show how to setup a CDN using Amazon CloudFront with about 10 minutes of work.

You will need:

  • W3 Total Cache
  • Amazon S3 Account (for CloudFront)
  • Access to your Domain DNS Editor

Before you start, be sure to run a test on your site at http://gtmetrix.com
to create a point of reference.

  1. Login to Amazon account
  2. Click on name in top corner and then click on Security Credentials
  3. Click Access Keys and copy the Access Key ID
  4. Click the Show button for Secret Access Key (or retrieve if you already have one). Copy this key.
  5. Go to WP – Performance – General Settings
  6. Scroll to section marked CDN Type and select Amazon CloudFront from the Origin Pull area. Now check Enable – Save all settings
  7. Performance – CDN – Scroll to Configuration
  8. Enter Access Key ID and Secret Key from Amazon S3
  9. Click Create Distribution
  10. Go back to Amazon and navigate to CloudFront console
  11. You should see the new Distribution in the Distribution List
  12. Wait until the Status goes from In Progress to Active (10 min or more)
  13. Click on the “i” icon and then copy the domain that has been assigned in the General tab
  14. Go to your Cpanel, scroll to Domains section, and select Simple DNS Zone Editor
  15. Create an alias in the Name field for the CNAME. Ex: cdn.domain.com
  16. Enter the original URL from CloudFront in the CNAME field then click Add CNAME Record
  17. Go back to CloudFront and click the “i” button, then edit under the General tab.
  18. Enter your CNAME into the box labeled “Alternate Domain Names (CNAMEs)” then click the Yes Edit box in the bottom right corner
  19. Return to W3 Total Cache to the CDN tab
  20. Add the CNAME that you created in the box “Replace site’s hostname with:” #1. Then Save All Settings
  21. Click Test CloudFront Distribution and it should turn green
  22. Enable the settings to be cached and served by the CDN under the General settings area (same screen). Recommended settings are:
    • Host attachments
    • Host wp-includes/files
    • Host theme files
    • Host custom files

Save All Settings

Now just refresh your home page and right click to view page source. You should see most of your website files are pointing to your CDN URL.

NOTE: After step #21 it will take another 10 to 15 minutes before the Amazon server has fully deployed. During this time your site will appear broken. RELAX!!! It’ll be fine once the server fully deploys.

Now go check your site at GT Metrix to see how much of an improvement the CDN has made.

Keep up to date with all my SEO training videos here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW5rUlmOefD858qPj6QQ1dG7uUSg-Ag4r

For more How To SEO training videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/BennerBradley

Bradley Benner — http://bradleybenner.com

5 Steps For Improving Page Speed


5 Steps For Improving Page Speed – http://www.howtoseo.us

This video shows 5 quick and easy steps that you can take to speed up your WordPress site.

Page speed (load time) has been a ranking factor considered by Google since 2010: http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/2010/04/using-site-speed-in-web-search-ranking.html

While there is conflicting opinions regarding how much of a ranking factor page speed really is, one thing that all can agree on is that a fast loading page means a happier visitor. Happier visitors tend to stay on the site longer (high Time On Site).

On the other hand, a slow loading page annoys most people. That’s when they hit the “back” button (considered a bounce) and find another site.

And since we know that Bounce Rate and Time On Site are considered important for SEO ranking, then it stands to reason, in my opinion, that page speed IS a ranking factor.

One of the common problems for a lot of WordPress sites are that the themes don’t always load fast. Add to that the number and type of plugins and you can wind up with some really slow load times.

After testing many caching plugins and various page speed tweaks, I have boiled down a simple and quick way to speed load times considerably with about 5 minutes of work:

5 Steps For Improving Page Speed

  1. Test Site Using GTMetrix.com
  2. Optimize Images
  3. Install W3 Total Cache
  4. Enable Caching (Browser & Page)
  5. Optimize Database – Install GD Press Tools Plugin

Re-test with GTMetrix and you should have seen notable improvement. If more is still needed at this point, you can add a CDN (Content Delivery Network). I will be producing another training video about how to set a CDN up using Amazon CloudFront in my next installment.

Keep up to date with all my SEO training videos here: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLW5rUlmOefD858qPj6QQ1dG7uUSg-Ag4r

For more How To SEO training videos, subscribe to my YouTube channel: http://www.youtube.com/BennerBradley

Bradley Benner — http://bradleybenner.com